Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1969. Known for twin lead guitars, a wide operatic vocal style, and for introducing the S&M leather-and-studs look into heavy metal, they have sold over 50 million albums worldwide. The band is widely recognised as one of the finest and most original heavy metal bands of all time, with many artists within the genre having cited them as a major influence. MTV ranked them the second "Greatest Metal Band" of all time.
Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the late 1970s, the band struggled with indifferently-produced records, repeated changes at the drummer position, and a lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980 when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status. In 1989, they were named as defendants in an unsuccessful lawsuit alleging that subliminal messages on their albums had caused the suicide attempts of two young men.